The Gift of Annoying the Neighbours

Traps A400 Drum Kit

Traps A400 Drum Kit

The major downside to urban living is the lack of space for a drum kit. I know, right? Darn thing takes up more room than a Bowflex and doesn't even have the decency to double as a laundry rack.

That is, of course, unless you're thinking of giving someone an A400 drum kit from Traps ($600; trapsdrumsusa.com). A marvel of acoustic engineering and plastic injection technology, the A400 is essentially a rack-mounted, fully adjustable portable drum kit with a smaller than expected foot print; its drums are only a couple inches thick yet resonate as if they we're the full bodied, wooden drums of a conventional acoustic kit. The A400 is endorsed by pros and wannabes alike for quality wallop and authentic tones (good enough for rehearsals and pub gigs, anyway).

It uses normal drum skins - one on each tom and a front/back pair on the diminutive, 20" kick drum. The snare, just 3 inches deep, is likewise double skinned, top and bottom, and includes a 16-strand snare spring with adjustable tension. Cymbals are sold separately to allow for personal taste or fanboy bias - Zildjian, Sabian, garbage can lid; it's your call.

All told, a Traps A400 footprint can be as small as, say, 5 feet wide by 2 feet deep, which is ridiculously diminutive for such a full-sized sound. It's at least half the space needed by a regular kit or, to belabor the comparison, about a 8th the space needs of Canadian drumming icon Neil pert, whose kit is 9 feet by 9 feet on a quiet day.

Being a rack mounted system (i.e. hardware is attached to a single pipe frame), you can actually fold the A400 down to about 6" thick and stow it in the closet for when the neighbors come over to complain.

Better still, as a system of pipes, clamps, platters and protrusions, it's also a hell of a laundry rack.

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